If you’ve read any of the S’moo blogs, you’ll realize how often “stress” is mentioned as an underling cause to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, missing your period… honestly the list keeps going.
American’s are stressed, all the time. It’s very rare to meet someone today that is totally in a zen state. Instead we meet people battling the emotional effects of work, money or their heart is racing from hearing the news, or reading social media. We are being pushed products, we are buying more than we need, we have information overload to the point of bursting. No wonder our stress levels are elevated.
Statistically, women are hit the hardest by stress.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America affecting 18% of the population (which is about 40 million adults). Studies show that almost half of all women say their stress has increased over the past 5 years. Stress affects us (women) differently because it affects our menstrual cycle.
What happens to your menstrual cycle when you’re stressed?
Fight or flight response is trigged in todays world from meetings, homework, work deadlines, relationship issues, money problems. It’s no longer trigged from lions, tigers and bears… though that’s not to say that there isn’t life-or-death threats you’re still dealing with. Either way your adrenal glands pump out adrenaline and cortisol, preparing your body to deal with the stress but you’re most likely not running from a bear and the stress response in todays world will repeat with each new stressor. This depletes your cortisol reserve, no longer letting you respond properly to the stress around you.
Here are a few things that are happening to your body when you’re stressed and how it can affect your well-being.
1. Blood sugar: Stress disrupts your blood sugar and raises your cortisol levels and this in turn disrupts your ovulation and period. This can be naturally countered by what you eat and the supplements you take. Once your blood sugar is under control you’ll see improvements in your PMS symptoms like like acne, bloating, missed periods and heavy flows.
2. Progesterone: Stress lowers progesterone because it steals it from your body to make more cortisol in order to respond to the stress you’re experiencing. Having low progesterone causes a ton of icky side affects like headaches, migraines, mood changes (anxiety or depression) and more.
3. Ovulation: Having a hard time getting pregnant? You might not be properly ovulating because of stress. Increased levels of cortisol can delay or prevent ovulation.
4. Late again? You might not be pregnant, you might just be missing periods from stress. Stress can change the time of your period or stop it completely. It can also change the way your period happens, your flow possibly being a different consistency, color, or lasting for a different length of time. Cramping can also occur because of this change.
5. Vitamins and minerals: You’ve read our blog on being deficient in vitamins and minerals and it lead you here… Its true, stress is a huge cause of why your body is depleted of its essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. The most susceptible being magnesium, B vitamins, and fatty acids like omega-3.
What should you do?
When you’re stressed, try stocking up on your magnesium, B vitamins, and fatty acids. Taking your daily scoop of S’moo will help as well as it has a lot of the things your body is currently using up.
Make an effort to eat super healthy. Let’s face it, you won’t want to. You’ll grab cereal or comfort food. You’re not going to want to cook and take care of yourself but this is the most important time. Feeding your body what you need will help your body not have the side effects. Sure, you’ll still be stressed but hopefully that will be the extent of your problems.
Try journalling. You can do a gratitude journal or you can write super negative letters, get your feelings all out and then rip them up and throw them away. You want to get your feelings out, not keep them in. I always tell my husband I feel like a broken record, complaining about the same stressful things, so I try to write them down and talk about them to balance it out and also give him a break.
We’ve all heard, “when it rains, it pours” and that’s because when something goes wrong or when you’re stressed, other things really do start happening. Like you’re getting head aches or you’re not paying super close attention so you hit a car in the parking lot. We deal with stress everyday, possibly more now than ever with social media never giving us a break. The best thing you can do for your body is stay alert, eat right, keep track of your emotions, your feelings and focus on the positive.
Check out our blog on Happy Habits here.
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.